Pre-Season "To Do List"
If you haven't aleady done so it's time to start making plans for the season ahead. Here's a pre-season to do list to help keep your preparations on track.
1.Buy your lift pass
Most resorts will offer a pre-season discount on the purchase of season tickets and the closing dates for these are rapidly approaching (Chamonix discount are available until 30th November http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/presale-annual-and-season-ski-passes-3421). You may have to decide between buying a season pass or day passes. It's always a difficult choice but try not to just do the sums; think of the time you save in not having to queue up each morning to buy a pass each and being able to put in a few turns on bad weather days when you’d not shell out for a day pass. However buying day passes can give you the flexibility of trying out different resorts depending on the snow and weather conditions.
If you are heading out for a week’s ski holiday with a tour operator make sure you book your ski pass in advance to get the best rate and have it delivered to your hotel ready for skiing on the first morning.
2.Make an equipment shopping list
Make sure your equipment is all ready to go so that when the first snow comes you can jump straight into your skis and go without having to run around trying to find things. Spend time sorting through your ski equipment; what needs replacing, is there anything that needs repairing, are there things you can sell and what do you need to buy. Check out local ski sales for buying and selling items. Chamonix Bourse aux Ski is on 19th November http://www.chamonet.com/what's-on-calendar/chamonix-bourse-aux-skis.html
If you are heading out on a holiday and plan on hiring ski make sure you reserve them in advance.
Sorting your equipment may also include putting snow tyres on your car to ensure that you can get to the resort when the snow comes. Check the laws of the country you are driving in as you might need snow chains too.
3.Be pro active about any pre-existing injuries
If you have any pre-existing aches and pains, or injuries that you know have caused you trouble in the past then be proactive to make sure you don’t have the same problems this season. Make an appointment with your local physiotherapist or osteopath and get them sorted before the season begins.
4.Pre season fitness
It can be hard to motivate yourself for pre-season fitness before you can see snow on the hills – but it is essential and should not be forgotten about. We see many incidents where people come out to ski poorly prepared, ski hard and wonder why they get injured. Don’t let it happen to you. There are plenty of pre-season ski exercises available online.
If you find motivation difficult then why not join a group. Many resorts offer pre-season programmes and they are also appearing in UK gyms. Check this out in London http://www.palecek-principles.co.uk/ski_lates.htm and for Chamonix residents there is Chamonix Gym.
5.Service your skis
As well as making sure your body under goes some pre-season tuning you’ll need to do the same for your skis. If you don’t have any ski tuning equipment at home then take your skis along to a local shop that comes recommended to you. Hand tuning is preferable to machines. Take them in early before everybody else does it and the shops get busy.
Check your din setting is correct too. This should be set in relation to your ability and weight. If you are unsure then ask in a ski shop.
6.Decide where you first turns are going to be...
If you live in the UK and are coming to Europe on a ski holiday make sure you get it booked early. If you prefer to wait until the last minute to see where the snow is best make sure don’t forgo the above “to do list”. Still have the holiday marked in your diary and prepare for it, even if you haven’t decided where you are going.
You can always get some pre-season turns in on your local dry ski slope or indoor Snowdome. Keep an eye on snow conditions in Scotland as over the last few years conditions there have been very good.
If you live in Europe then Tignes, Zermatt and Saas Fee all provide good early season options and are open now. Remember, don’t go hard at it on the first run or even the first day. A few hours skiing on your first day of the season is normally more than enough ... build it up gradually.